Diamond Frame Bike Buying Guide

Diamond Frame Bike Buying Guide

Top Things to Consider When Choosing a Diamond Frame Bike

Before we dive into the details, let's first define what a diamond frame bike is. A diamond frame bike, also known as a traditional or "double diamond" frame, is the classic bike design that features two triangles - one for the main frame and one for the rear triangle. This design offers a strong and stable structure, making it a popular choice among city bikers.

Now that we're all on the same page, let's explore its advantages. The first and most obvious advantage is its versatility. Diamond frame bikes are suitable for a wide range of riding styles, from commuting to leisurely rides around the city. They also offer a comfortable and upright riding position, perfect for urban areas where you need to be able to keep an eye on traffic.

Another advantage of diamond frame bikes is their durability. With fewer complex parts and a simpler design, these bikes are less likely to experience mechanical issues. They also tend to be more affordable compared to other bike designs.
When it comes to choosing the right diamond frame bike for you, there are a few key factors to consider. First, you'll want to determine your riding style and needs. Are you mainly using your city bike for commuting? Or do you plan on taking longer rides on the weekends? This will help narrow down your options.
Next, think about the terrain you'll be riding on. If you live in a hilly area, you may want to consider a bike with multiple gears. However, if you're mainly riding on flat roads, a single-speed diamond frame bike might suffice.

Another important factor is size. It's crucial to choose a bike that fits your body and riding style. If the bike is too big or small, it can lead to discomfort and even injuries. Luckily, most manufacturers provide size charts to help you determine the right fit for you. It's important to note that sizing is NOT universal across brands or bike, so please consult the sizing guide on each and every bike you're interested in.
Anatomy of a Diamond Frame Bike

Pros and Cons of Diamond Frame Bikes

Taking it a step further, here are some of the advantages of the diamond frame geometry:

  • Durability. Diamond frame bikes are more sturdy than step-through bikes, thanks largely to their unique frame. The triangle/diamond-shape with the frame tube connecting the front and back of the bike adds stability, creating a more robust bike. This additional element helps to balance and strengthen the frame, making it more hearty and long-lasting.
  • Better suited for tough terrain. Thanks to the added durability brought by the diamond/triangle shape, the diamond frame bike is also better suited to rough terrain than the step-through bike. If you want to scale the highest peak or go racing across unpaved surfaces, the diamond frame model is a great pick. Be aware, however, that diamond frame bikes still aren’t the equivalent of a mountain bike.
  • Lightweight. Diamond frame bikes tend to be lightweight and easier to maneuver than step-through models. This might seem counterintuitive — after all, the diamond frame model has that additional component, the frame tube that creates the triangle/diamond shape — wouldn't that make it heavier? In fact, it's because of this bar that diamond frame frames can afford to be lightweight. The bar makes for a more stable structure.

 Brooklyn Bicycle Co. Roebling

The Roebling in Matte Black 

Of course, as with anything, diamond frame bikes can have disadvantages too. Some of the cons include the following:

  • Performance limitations. Yes, diamond frame bikes are more robust and durable than step-through bikes. However, that doesn't mean they're suited for all terrains. For example, if you're planning to get into BMX, you’ll want a dedicated BMX bike. The same is true if you're pursuing mountain biking — a mountain bike frame will have the structure, suspension, and tires for safe riding on extreme surfaces.
  • Not ideal for cargo or rear passengers mounting a diamond frame bike presents challenges when carrying cargo or children on the rear of your bike. Because mounting the bike necessitates throwing your leg over the back of the bike, step-through frames are favorable in this scenario.


Raw silver Wythe bike against aqua colored door

The Wythe in Raw

Gearing & Safe Riding

While single speed diamond frames take the cake for simplicity, we’d suggest opting for a 3-speed or more any day of the week to ensure your rides aren't disrupted by too much exertion. An ample gearing range will allow an effortless climb up that dreaded hill, then will get you up to speed to ensure you still make it on time for that morning meeting.

While a few diamond frame bikes may still come with a coaster brake (pedal brake), we have reservations as this creates a single point of failure should your chain become compromised. Instead, we favor rim brakes which are lightweight and provide ample front and rear stopping power.

Don't forget a bell to make sure you can be heard while encountering cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. Be sure to find one that sounds as sweet as it looks. And if your rides take place after dark, and we say they should, don’t forget quality lights for being seen and seeing those around you. Check out our Safe Riding Guide for more tips.
 Driggs bike in front of store

 The Driggs 3 in Denim Blue with Sweptback Handlebars

Make it Your Own

Now for the fun part. One of the best parts of a diamond frame bike is making it your own, AKA accessorizing. Bells, bike lights, racks, don’t hold back here. Another common trait you’ll see with diamond frame bikes is their ability to be customized and upgraded. This can include accessories like fenders, lights, panniers and saddle bags, cargo racks, wicker or metal baskets, and more.

Our Bedford 8 is the most laid back of our diamond frame models, and perfect for the boardwalk or the sidewalk. Our ever-popular Roebling is a bit on the sportier side with a lightweight frame and wide gearing range to tackle nearly any terrain. A more classic option is our Driggs model which sports front & rear fenders and disc brakes – perfect for all weather riding. Lastly, but certainly not least, is our Wythe, arguably the simplest of bikes as it's a single speed that can function in a freewheel or a fixed gear function for the braver amongst you.

Regardless of the model, all our diamond frame bikes feature a classic diamond frame design, ample gearing, and the ability to mount rear cargo.

Matte Black Bedford 8 bike with silver front basket

 The Bedford 8 in Matte Black


Last, but certainly not least, let’s ensure your new diamond frame bike lasts. Given that many diamond frame bikes are ridden recreationally and for commuting, we heavily favor steel for its flexible and forgiving nature. In addition to the steel frame, ensure your other components such as cranksets, handlebars, seat posts, spokes and rims are all stainless, aluminum, or have an element of rust prevention. While this saves weight, it will also prevent your bike from becoming a rusty eyesore halfway through your first season with it. The same can be said with your bike’s chain, be sure it has some sort of rust-prohibitive treatment to ensure increased longevity. Our diamond frame bike collection features models equipped with KMC’s rust buster treatment which will keep your chain looking spiffy for years.

The last, but arguably most important thing - as with all bikes, we are huge advocates of having your bike professionally assembled. This gives you three distinct advantages:

  • Properly adjusted bikes are safer (consider the importance of well-functioning brakes)
  • Professionally assembled & dialed-in bikes have longer lifespans (consider the importance of proper lubrication and well-adjusted gearing)
  • You’ll have a relationship with a local bike shop who’ll quickly and easily get you back riding, should something ever go wrong

Tooting our own horn, every one of our bikes includes professional assembly through our pioneering Buy & Ride Program. This affords you all the benefits noted above and of course also aligns you with a local shop should you ever need assistance with your ride or have questions as you embark on your riding journey.

We hope this guide has been helpful in your search for the perfect diamond frame bike. Remember, no matter which city bike you choose, always prioritize safety and enjoy the ride! Keep an eye out for our other biking guides to continue expanding your knowledge and finding the perfect gear for all your cycling adventures. Thanks for following along!


Craving more bike buying knowledge? We’ve got you covered there as well. Click HERE to get our “Definitive Guide to Buying a Bike Online” where we share six must know things to consider before hitting that add-to-cart button. 

We build bikes for vivid lives—for taking adventures, reconnecting with old friends, discovering new neighborhoods and exploring hidden gems. Inspired by the streets of Brooklyn, our bikes are built for style, comfort, and durability. Made with top quality parts, crafted with care, and sold at an affordable price, your bike is yours for life. We scrutinize every component for maximum sustainability and performance, and every millimeter of the frame for ultimate comfort and style. We take pride in our process, in our products, and in the people who sell them.